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The political economy of urban transport-system choice

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  • Brueckner, Jan K.
  • Selod, Harris

Abstract

This paper analyzes the political economy of transport-system choice, with the goal of gaining an understanding of the forces involved in this important urban public policy decision. Transport systems pose a continuous trade-off between time and money cost, so that a city can choose a fast system with a high money cost per mile or a slower, cheaper system. The paper compares the socially optimal transport system to the one chosen under the voting process, focusing on both homogeneous and heterogeneous cities, while considering different landownership arrangements. The analysis identifies a bias toward underinvestment in transport quality in heterogeneous cities.
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Suggested Citation

  • Brueckner, Jan K. & Selod, Harris, 2006. "The political economy of urban transport-system choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 983-1005, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:90:y:2006:i:6-7:p:983-1005
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    1. Wheaton, William C, 1977. "Income and Urban Residence: An Analysis of Consumer Demand for Location," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 620-631, September.
    2. Jan K. Brueckner & Jacques-FranÁois Thisse & Yves Zenou, 2002. "Local Labor Markets, Job Matching, and Urban Location," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(1), pages 155-171, February.
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    4. Sasaki, Komei, 1989. "Transportation system change and urban structure in two-transport mode setting," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 346-367, May.
    5. Brueckner, Jan K. & Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Zenou, Yves, 1999. "Why is central Paris rich and downtown Detroit poor?: An amenity-based theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 91-107, January.
    6. Borck, Rainald & Wrede, Matthias, 2005. "Political economy of commuting subsidies," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 478-499, May.
    7. LeRoy, Stephen F. & Sonstelie, Jon, 1983. "Paradise lost and regained: Transportation innovation, income, and residential location," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 67-89, January.
    8. Sasaki, Komei, 1990. "Income class, modal choice, and urban spatial structure," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 322-343, May.
    9. Calfee, John & Winston, Clifford, 1998. "The value of automobile travel time: implications for congestion policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 83-102, July.
    10. Richard J. Arnott & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1979. "Aggregate Land Rents, Expenditure on Public Goods, and Optimal City Size," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 471-500.
    11. Selod, Harris & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Private versus public schools in post-Apartheid South African cities: theory and policy implications," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 351-394, August.
    12. DeSalvo, Joseph S. & Huq, Mobinul, 1996. "Income, Residential Location, and Mode Choice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 84-99, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Search, migration, and urban land use: The case of transportation policies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 174-187, November.
    2. GOBILLON Laurent & SELOD Harris, 2007. "The effects of segregation and spatial mismatch on unemployment: evidence from France," Research Unit Working Papers 0702, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
    3. De Borger, Bruno & Proost, Stef, 2015. "The political economy of public transport pricing and supply decisions," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 95-109.
    4. Bruno Borger & Stef Proost, 2016. "The political economy of pricing and capacity decisions for congestible local public goods in a federal state," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(5), pages 934-959, October.
    5. Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Edward L. Glaeser, 2017. "The political economy of transportation investment," Economics Working Papers 1556, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2017.
    6. Bruno De Borger & Antonio Russo, 2015. "The Political Economy of Cordon Tolls," CESifo Working Paper Series 5558, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. De Borger, Bruno & Proost, Stef, 2016. "Can we leave road pricing to the regions? -The role of institutional constraints," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 208-222.
    8. Borck, Rainald & Wrede, Matthias, 2008. "Commuting subsidies with two transport modes," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 841-848, May.
    9. De Lara, Michel & de Palma, André & Kilani, Moez & Piperno, Serge, 2013. "Congestion pricing and long term urban form: Application to Paris region," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 282-295.
    10. repec:eee:juecon:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:31-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Tscharaktschiew, Stefan & Hirte, Georg, 2009. "An urban general equilibrium model with multiple household structures and travel mode choice," MPRA Paper 17697, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Luke Haywood & Martin Koning, 2012. "Avoir les coudes serrés dans le métro parisien : évaluation contingente du confort des déplacements," Revue d'économie industrielle, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(4), pages 111-144.
    13. Brueckner, Jan K., 2005. "Transport subsidies, system choice, and urban sprawl," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 715-733, November.
    14. Albalate, Daniel & Bel, Germà, 2010. "What shapes local public transportation in Europe? Economics, mobility, institutions, and geography," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 775-790, September.
    15. Michel De Lara & André De Palma & Moez Kilani & Serge Piperno, 2008. "Congestion pricing and long term urban form: Application to Ile-de-France," Working Papers hal-00348439, HAL.
    16. Wei Xiao, 2014. "Search Frictions, Unemployment, And Housing In Cities: Theory And Policies," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 422-449, June.
    17. Harris Selod & Lara Tobin, 2018. "The spatial sorting of informal dwellers in cities in developing countries: Theory and evidence," PSE Working Papers halshs-01703178, HAL.
    18. De Borger, Bruno & Russo, Antonio, 2017. "The political economy of pricing car access to downtown commercial districts," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 76-93.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning

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